I dreamed of a distant future last night. It wasn’t a post-apocalyptic wasteland with acidified oceans and vomit colored sunsets, and the surviving population wasn’t dodging a race of zombified undead, or ripping each other limb from limb for whatever meager scraps remained.
In this dream, things were better than they are now. The human race had progressed in a thoroughly unexpected direction. It was as if a massive system update had been collectively downloaded into everyone’s brains, and our neurons were firing in synchronicity from a far more sympathetic operating system.
Our instincts had finally evolved beyond a primal selfishness fueled by fear, greed and insecurity. Somewhere along the way, natural selection had discarded those selfish modes in favor of what could only be labelled as radical, harmonious caring.
In this brave new world, the highest values are generosity, cooperation, and unconditional conscientiousness for all… Extreme, hard core thrash-metal is also greatly revered. Music is universally earsplitting and mercilessly atonal, but it serves as an archetypical group release for every primitive instinct that remains buried in the ancient strands of our DNA.
The drive to kill, rape, pillage, and charge interest are thwarted during seasonal thrash-metal festivals, where loving, caring citizens exorcise their demons through spastic dancing under the influence mind-altering substances ingested in Dionysian size proportions. Festivities always conclude with silent, mass meditation under starlit skies, until sunrise, at which point everyone has a really, really, really long hug.
A powerful economy has bloomed around these newfound values and it is both productive and profitable. And at the end of each year, everyone is audited on how much they cared and loved and gave the year before. An Emotional Auditor calls you into a nondescript, corporate office and grills you to the last detail on how much you gave onto others, and how often you violently danced your face off.
Being an Emotional Auditor is a highly respected vocation. And being audited is one of the most pleasurable experiences one can have. The majority of citizens hear things like, “You loved, and gave, and supported how much? You’re amazing, and you’re getting a very nice chunk back this year as a result. Now, here’s some government synthesized LSD to share with loved ones while hurling yourselves about like rabid simians.”
Granted, a small number of people will hear alternate speeches, such as, ”Sorry to inform you, but as of April 15th, 2115, you have not loved enough. Here’s how much more you owe. Please remit it at your earliest convenience, or further penalties will be levied.”
Then everyone slam dances. And meditates. And hugs unselfconsciously. And the purple sun rise majestically into a burnt sienna sky…
It’s a novel era, where all inhabitants understand without resistance how utterly interconnected our planet is, and how the future survival of the race depends on not further decimating every last natural resource remaining, and lending a hand to the neediest, instead of giving them a stiff kick in the pelvis, which is appropriately saved for the thrash metal festivals, and what a joy it is to give then.